Summer is a special time for nonprofits! This is true for a variety of reasons, but one of the greatest highlights of the season is interns. Of course, individuals intern with nonprofits throughout the year, but summer is different, in that interns get to focus even more on what they are most passionate about. They bring unique experiences, creative approaches, and invigorating energy to their summer service.
Already, we’ve gotten to know an intern whose insights are admirable. Mia Thompson, a student at the University of Kentucky, is working with Community Innovation Lab as a web designer and community of practice expert. For Mia, interning at Community Innovation Lab is the perfect way to develop her skill set and to use her knowledge of community development in a meaningful way. At UK, Mia double majors in African American Studies and Community Leadership Development with a minor in Family Science and a certification in leadership studies. In addition to her academics, Mia gets involved across campus, even teaching classes to first-year UK students. Her vast experiences and dedication made her stand out to Dr. Bryan and Dr. Kristina Hains, professors in the Community Leadership Development program and co-founders of Community Innovation Lab.
Mia describes how although she didn’t have experience with web design, her professors believed in her curious, ambitious approach to life. And so they encouraged her to give web design a try, seeing it as a way for her to challenge herself and do something that she loves. This summer, Mia’s goal is to build connections and spread the word about the Community Innovation Lab’s mission. But it doesn’t stop there!
“By fall, I’ll be out here every day doing the work,” exclaims Mia.
For Mia, selflessness is key to doing good work. When asked what it means to be a leader, Mia responds, “Being a leader to me, means you’re putting your best foot forward to help others. You change someone’s heart to be better… It’s about the path you leave for others to follow and to continue the work.”
Mia’s compassion is infectious, and we are happy that she’s in the space. We look forward to learning with Mia throughout the remainder of the summer and over the course of her senior year. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to say, “Hi” to our new friend, Mia!